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Style of the Week: SMaSH Beers!

2

September 19, 2014 by fhsteinbart


SMaSH Beers

Single Malt and Single Hop logo

Ok, I have to admit it, SMaSH beers are not really a style per se, but instead an experiment in flavor and aroma detection, identification, and appreciation. Actually, there was a true history making beer that was brewed in the late 1970’s, and early 1980’s, which was not only the first American micro-brew, but was a single malt/single hop beer. That beer was called New Albion Pale Ale, and a fine beer for its day it was. I think that the ingredients were predicated on three things. First was ingredient availability. Second was equipment availability. Last was a price structure that matched other commercial beer producer’s. Probably why it went out of business was that last part of the equation. Sometimes known as the fifth ingredient in beer: time. The brewery always sold out of every single beer, and the brewer was mostly a homebrewer with engineering background. Even the process then was as it is now. So why don’t more breweries make SMaSH beers? I’m not exactly sure, but my guess is the failure of New Albion influenced newer brewers to avoid truly simple beers, going to more ingredients to enhance complexity, rather than subtle nuances in flavor and aroma. This is why I’ve always been a supporter of SMaSH beers to understand more the complexities of the flavor and aroma of malt, hops, and yeast. It is to also educate yourself of these sensory analyses. Always take good notes, or use the Brewer’s Worksheet on the recipe board at Steinbart’s. Below is my recipe for what I call New Albion Pale Ale v2.0:

Extract version:

OG: 1.054 TG: 1.014

6 lbs. Extra-Light DME

½ lb. Malto-Dextrin at end of boil

½ oz. Citra hops for 60~90 minutes

½ oz. Citra hops for 30 minutes

½ oz. Citra hops at 15 minutes

½ oz. Citra hops dry hopped for 9~12 days

1 Whirlfloc Tablet or ½ tsp. Irish Moss at last 20 minutes

¾ gm. Burton Water Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.)

Wyeast 1028, WLP013, or Nottingham yeast

Procedure:

  • Heat 2-5 gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Turn off heat and add malt extract, stirring until fully dissolved.
  • Return to Heat, bring to boil for 5 min. then add ½ oz. bittering hops.
  • At 30 minutes add the flavor hops.
  • At 20 minutes add Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss.
  • At 15 minutes add the aroma hops.
  • At knockout (0 minutes), turn off the heat, add ½ lb. Malto-Dextrin, then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller.
  • Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 65°F to 69°F. for up to two weeks, allowing to age an additional two weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain version:

OG: 1.054 FG: 1.013

9 lbs. Gambrinus Pale Malt

½ lb. Dextrin Malt

½ oz. Citra hops for 60~90 minutes

½ oz. Citra hops for 30 minutes

½ oz. Citra hops at 15 minutes

½ oz. Citra hops dry hopped for 9~12 days

1 Whirlfloc Tablet or ½ tsp. Irish Moss at last 20 minutes

¾ gm. Burton Water Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in both mash and boil

Wyeast 1028, WLP013, or Nottingham yeast

Procedure:

  • Infusion mash at 150°F for 90 min.
  • Sparge until 6~6½ gal wort has been obtained.
  • Boil for 1 to 1½ hours.
  • Add the Burton Water Salts after the boil commences.
  • Then add the bittering hops after 15 minutes boiling and continue to boil for 60 more minutes.
  • Add the flavor hops at 30 minutes remaining.
  • Add Whirlfloc or Irish Moss at last 20 minutes.
  • Add the aroma hops at 15 minutes remaining to the boil.
  • Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 112 gms. corn sugar (approx. ¾ cup), or kegged to 18 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 48~54°F in a 16 oz. American pint glass, share and enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Style of the Week: SMaSH Beers!

    • fhsteinbart says:

      Yes, indeed! I can only hope that Boston Brewing’s acquisition of New Albion bodes well for the future. Same for Ballantine IPA, which is also owned by Pabst, and just got sold to a Russian Company. Very strange days ahead that’s for sure!

      Like

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